The completion of the new steam-reforming hydrogen production facility allowed production to begin in the summer of 2019. Thanks to the new biomass pre-treatment plant, the biorefinery can take advantage of the full processing capacity of second-generation raw materials, produced from waste from the food-production industry. The Gela refinery will be one of only a few in the world that can treat 100 per cent of advanced and unconventional feedstocks. In the future, raw materials will stem from food-production waste products, such as used cooking oil, tallow and by-products linked to the processing of palm oil. The Gela biorefinery will be very environmentally friendly because it will use feedstocks that otherwise would be disposed of as waste, with increased costs for the local community and a greater environmental impact. The biorefinery, which will have a processing capacity of up to 750,000 tonnes a year, will comply in full with the most recent EU regulations, reducing CO2 emissions by more than 60 per cent compared to fossil fuel-based refining. The Gela refinery will be powered in part by energy produced by solar panels installed as part of Progetto Italia, further reducing emissions.
Compared to traditional refining, the biorefinery will produce:
in atmospheric emissions (SO₂, NOₓ, CO and particulate)
in CO₂ emissions
in water abstraction
in waste water
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